Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday!

Merry Christmas to all and Happy Birthday Mr Jinnah - deeply sorry to how "we" have ruined and misconstrued your vision of a secular Republic Of Pakistan. A nation where the interests of all faiths, ethnicity, and cultures are secure under a single federated national umbrella. Hope someday, soon we can get it right! RIP Sir.

Cross-posting from my Facebook Status dated 25th December, 2012, Karachi
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Can Take A Horse To Water But Can't Make Him Drink It

You'd imagine someone from a poor background earning barely enough (~$100/mon) to support a family of 7 would be glad to have access to a decent and free Government School near his home. But no, the attitude that kids will only go the best or not go is prevalent at all levels of Pakistani society.

There is one individual with 6 six kids who go for private tuitions to learn Quran. But are not going to school as the tuition and admission fee is to high. Whereas the Government School near his house is free. I cited an example of another boy who just got his Metric through that same school, and now is en-route to doing his Inter.

Seriously, makes me wonder. Here you are with an opportunity to get your 6 kids educated - okay fine it's not the best school in the world, but it's decent enough for them to atleast become literate and maybe pass their Metric, more than what you had.

Government Schools, whatever one says about them however horrible the conditions do work - kids can get an okay education, enough to help their families out of poverty. And these schools are FREE.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Kemari Home To Soccer

Even though I grew up in Karachi , I'm always learning something new about the city such as tye famous Football (Soccer) league is from Kemari.

Kemari & Lyari areas of Karachi are home to some damn good athletes - if this were any where else probably would have qualified for Olympics

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mujhe Se Pehli Si Mohabbat - Faiz Ahmad Faiz

Muj Se Pehli Si Mohabat Merey Mehboob Na Mang: This is a famous ghazal by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. It is one of my favorite songs/poems by Faiz. Typically most of us have heard it sung by Madam Noor Jahan's.  However recently via a friend's Facebook wall I heard it sung by a somewhat unknown artist, or perhaps she is unknown to me named Sheelo Khan.

Mujhe Se Pehli Si Mohabbat

Maine samjha tha ke tu hai to darakhshaan hai hayyaat
Tera gham hai to sham-e-dahar ka jhagra kya hai
Teri soorat se hai aalam mein baharon ko sabaat
Teri aankhon ke siwa dunya mein rakha kya hai
To jo mil jaye to taqdeer nigoon ho jaye
Yun na tha maine faqat chaha tha yun ho jaye
Aur bhi dukh hain zamane mein mohabbat ke siwa
Rahatein aur bhi hain wasl ki raahat ke siwa
Angeenat sadiyon ke taariq bahimanaa talism
Resham-o-atlas-o-kamKhwaab mein bunwaye hue
Jaa-ba-jaa biktey hue koochaa-o-bazaar mein jism
Khaak mein litharey hue, khoon mein nehlaaye hue
Jism nikaley hue amraaz ke tannuuron se
Peep behti hui jaltey hue naasuuron se
Laut jaati hai udhar ko bhi nazar kya ki jiye
Ab bhi dilkash hai tera husn mager kya ki jiye
Aur bhi dukh hain mohabbat ke dukh ke siwa
Rahatein aur bhi hain wasl ki raahat ke siwa
Mujhse pehli si mohabbat mere mehboob na maang

Don’t Ask Me Now, Beloved

Don’t ask me now, Beloved, for that love of other days
When I thoughy since you were, life would always scintillate
That love’s pain being mine, the world’s pain I could despise
That your beauty lastingness to the spring would denote,
That nothing in the world was of worth but your eyes;
Were you to be mine, fate would bow low before me.

It was not so; it was only my wish that it were so;
Other pains esist than those that love brings,
Other joys than those of lover’s mingling.
Dark fareful talisman, come down the centuries,
Woven in silk and damask and cloth of gold;
Bodies that everywhere in streets sold
Covered with dust, all their wounds bleeding.
Bodies that have passed through the furnace of ills
With putrid ulcers which their humours spills.
How can I but turn my eyes sometimes that way?
Your beauty is still ravishing, what can I say?
Other pains exist than those that love brings,
Other joys than those of lovers’ mingling.
Don’t ask me now, Beloved, for that love of other days.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Failed Marriage - Pakistan & The United States 1947 - 2012: Husain Haqqani

A failed marriage, a disenchanted alliance 1947 - 2012 it has been -- best to sever ties, divorce and go our separate ways. The former Ambassador Professor Husain Haqqani  makes a compelling case, inline with the former cold-war U.S. diplomat to Pakistan,  Dennis Kux's analysis.

A post-Marriage US Pakistan relationship will serve both nations well,  void of any expectations.  

Friends they'll remain yet friends is all they'll be nothing more.  No bilateral or multi-lateral partnerships,  no expectations or broken promises, or ill will towards one another.

Continue reading Husain Haqqani's statement at ....

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

65 years on becoming: Fate of the Unfated

Mr Mohammad Ali Jinnah, playing a game of billiards
(Photo courtesy Quaid-e-Azam History Blog)
Today Pakistanis everywhere celebrate 65 years of independence from British Rule. A long and tumultuous journey it has been. Pot marked by sectarian and ethnic genocides, political upheavals, with corruptions, bribery and plain simple idiocracy plaguing the national landscape.

Pakistan to many outsiders is perceived as a failed state, another banana republic gone bananas!

A country that was founded upon the principle of freedom of religion, equity and equality for citizens regardless of ethnic or religious differences. As the founding father, Mr Mohammad Ali Jinnah eloquently stated in his first Constituent Assembly Address on August 11, 1947 while drawing corollary to England's tumultuous ancient past:
We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle: that we are all citizens, and equal citizens, of one state.
Mr Jinnah further went on to say 
You will find that in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus, and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.
Mr Jinnah, contrary to popular lore did not envision the Pakistan of today. He did not envision a country where religious and ethnic minorities are sidelined, where speaking your mind can be hazardous and injurious to health - mind, body, and soul. Mr Jinnah surely did not envision an 'Islamic Republic' molded to a narrow "Islamist"  ideology. An ideology that shuns anyone who doesn't conform to a specific ethno-religious mold, as is evident from his statement:
You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed -- that has nothing to do with the business of the State.
From the present 1973 Constitution that declares the State of Pakistan as 'An Islamic Republic' to the discriminatory treatment of not just non-Muslims but even none conforming Muslims, and ethnic minorities. Pakistan is a State riddled with broken promises, shattered dreams, deaths of innocent souls, hearts, and would be great minds who aspired to building a new life in a new nation.

Mr Jinnah addressing the first constituent assemble
11th of August, 1947 (Photo courtesy Ali Salman's Blog)
In his address Mr Jinnah went on and implored the constituent assembly on tackling bribery and corruption. "That really is a poison. We must put down with an iron hand", he said.

Further he talked about how "Black-Marketing is another curse...which today is a colossal crime against society, in our distressed conditions, when we constantly face shortage of food and other essential commodities of life".

On the surface it's apparent that Pakistan has not lived up and been the homeland it's founders ventured out "to build a separate homeland where the interests of the Muslims of India are safeguarded...not to build an Islamic theocracy", eloquently stated by Pakistan's former Consul General (1997 - 2001) to Los Angeles Sardar Tariq Azizuddin  over a cup of chai in his L.A. office. I highlight, where the interests...are safeguarded, referring not only to religious, but economic interests of Muslims of India. Jinnah's vision for Pakistan as Sardar Azizuddin went on to say was to build a separate and secular homeland for Muslims, and also the ethnic and religious minorities.

Pakistan may have not lived up to it's original ideals, it however has by hook or crook, managed to survive through 4 military dictatorships, 3 wars with it's arch rival India, 2 wars it fought and is still fighting on behalf of International partners and foes alike. Not to mention domestically the country is faced with insurmountable issues - from rising poverty, power and water shortages, with bribery and corruption plaguing at all levels of public and private life.

That is the Pakistan story, a miracle you could call it, against all odds it continues to kick, despite it's rocky past and unfated future. Where is the country of 200 Million  headed to, GOD only KNOWS! Scientifically speaking Pakistan is a failed nation. How it has survived thus far is a miracle in itself.

A miracle that can, and can only be attributed to the efforts of it's people. The people who against all odds, continue to forge forward in all walks of life. Pakistan in a manner of speaking a nation of "real" entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs who not only build businesses, but also build lives, building society(ies) as they understand it to be - carving out their individual Fate, intertwined with that of the national Fate.

Mr Jinnah's vision may not have as yet taken root in society, however in retrospect there are telling glimmers of hope riddled through the nations historical fabric, which sooner than later will merge into a unified national narrative.

God Bless!

Pakistan Paindabad!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Just Scratch the surface and you'll find positive news...

Don't  yearn to hear positive news from Pakistan, scratch the surface a little and you'll find tones of great stories that suite your fancy. Whatever, or most of whats going in Pakistan today is a healthy discourse, verbal and non-verbal, violent and non-violent on track to ensuring a secure, prosperous, democratic future. Rather than complain, get involved and participate in the discourse. Do not shy away because something appears "Political" in nature. - AR

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Breakdown Of Civil Authority in Karachi

Khayaban-e-Shamsheer & Khayaban-e-Hafiz intersection - Photo AR Rafiq
As of 2012 the Khayaban-e-Shamsheer road, one of the main thoroughfares in Karachi's  Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has been designated a one way. Yet no one follows the rule, even the traffic cops aren't enforcing it. The only time there is some of semblance order is when DHA's private police are onsite.

You can try and drive on the right hand side, but at your own risk. You can blame lack of education as the cause of the mess, however when the educated elit who reside in DHA won't follow the law, or obey posted traffic signs then what more can one say or do to enforce the new rule to the broader, and largely illiterate public?

What about the traffic cops? Shouldn't they enforce the law? Why does DHA have to send their organizations police. In fact what need does DHA have in maintaining a private police force when you already have city police for maintaing law and order?

Clearly there's a communication breakdown between the various city and private authorities resulting in rampant lawlessness.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mark Zukerberg Ka Eid

I was leaving the house earlier today for a meeting, had my laptop in one hand and the boy who works for us here in Karachi comes out from behind asking me how he can create a Facebook account from his phone.

We had gotten him a second hand laptop to help with his school work (Metric), however it doesn't have WiFi capabilities so he's dependent on his QMobile smart phone for the internet.

Earlier this week he asked me how to upgrade the sound drivers on his laptop, as he had already downloaded several versions via his mobile device, which did not work. It was incredible to learn,  with so little knowledge and exposure to the world and the English language he was able to figure out how to download sound drivers via his mobile device and then transfer it to his laptop.

Then today the fact he knew about Facebook, and even more amazing his classmates at the Gizri Government (Urdu and Sindhi Medium) School down the street talk about Facebook is incredible. Though I'll try and delay helping him with creating a Facebook account until he completes and passes his Metric exams - as Facebook is a distraction he can do without for now :-).

Technology is indeed flattening the world, blurring traditional social and economic barriers. Is that good, well on the face of things definitely, however I can't help but wonder what are, if any the adverse affects of foreign technology being adopted within a society? What do you think?

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Free Will is a Gift...Use it or Loose It...

Most people live life on the path we set for them. Too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along and knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift, you'll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that's The Chairman's real plan. And maybe, one day, we won't write the plan. You will. -- The Adjustment Bureau 
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

No place like home

There is no place like home
At the break of dawn you hear the call to prayer
Rooster crowing
Birds chirping
Crows crowing
There is no place like home

Home sweet home
Your abahee land
Where every molecule within you is resonant with the soil, air, and water.
There is no place like home

Home sweet home
Sweet regardless of the chaos
Sweet regardless of the madness
Sweet regardless of the jahalat
There is no place like home

Home sweet home
It's home even when you're given a side while driving
It's home even if the road is riddled with pot holes
It's home even when the traffic police rudely gestures you to go straight instead of making a left turn
It's home despite utter unprofessionalism at conferences
It's home despite the manghaee
There is no place like home
It's home when an irritated motorist honks you to proceed at a red light
There is no place like home

Home sweet home
Home is where the heart is
Home is where the soul is at peace
There is no place like home
Your abahee watan
The watan that breathed life into you
The watan where you are part of the whole
There is no place like home

You can travel the world
Yet there is no place like home
There is no place like your hum watan

Home is where the heart is a peace
Home is where you feel whole again
There is no place like home

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